Sunday, November 23, 2008

How To: Change the Bag and Filters of a Miele Cannister Vacuum Cleaner

This morning while Deanna took the boys to Trader Joe's, I decided to quickly vacuum up a mess that 1 1/2 year old William made with our vacuum cleaner. The bag had been removed without being replaced because it was full, and as a result what should have been a 1 minute project turning into a much longer one, primarily because I had a hard time figuring out how to replace one of the filters on the vacuum cleaner. This blog entry is primarily for my own future reference.

Our current vacuum cleaner is a Miele Flamenco II. The model number is S251i:

The manual for the product is available here.

The bags and filters for this vacuum cleaner look like this:

To order replacement bags from Amazon:
Replacing the bag is done most frequently. This is pretty straightforward. To access the bag, push the button near the handle to release the lid:

Included in every box of replacement bags are replacement filters. There are 2 filters on our vacuum cleaner. Therefore, once every 5 bag replacements the filters should be replaced. Both filters need to be cut to size with a scissors. The first filter is here:

The next filter is the tricky one (and the one that gave me enough frustration to write this blog post). Do *NOT* attempt to replace this filter by opening the small hatch on the top of the vacuum cleaner that contains the accessory parts!

The correct way to access this filter is by opening the entire unit and removing the air filter from the same compartment as the bag and the other filter:

Here are Miele's kind-of lame instructions ("Open the dust compartment lid" and "Open the filter frame" aren't very instructive to a dope like me, though the picture is a little helpful):

It would have been better if directly on the device where I was trying to jam my screwdriver there was a warning that said "Achtung! Do not attempt to replace this filter from here! Access this filter from inside the vacuum cleaner!" In my opinion if I have to read the manual to figure out how to do something like replacing the filters, it is a failure in design. Overall, this vacuum cleaner is decent enough. It works well on hardwood floors and tile, but does *not* work very well on carpet. The carpet attachment frequently gets tangled up with debris and needs maintenance.

Common Causes of Distress

The most common cause of a "red indicator" is a full bag.
Pro Tip: When the vacuum cleaner is struggling it's most commonly caused by the bag being full. However, sometimes it's caused by an obstruction in the hose. If the bag isn't full, remove the hose from the unit to see if that relieves pressure. If it doesn't, re-connect the hose in stages from the unit to the attachment. When the problematic portion has been attached the "red indicator" will come back on. Then you'll know where to go after the obstruction.

If you've stumbled upon this blog entry from a Google search for "how do i replace the filter on a miele vacuum cleaner" please leave a comment saying "Hey thanks man! I appreciate it!". If you read this because you're a regular reader of our family blog then I apologize for subjecting you to such a mundane topic. I posted this here as a Dwyer family reference.

Hope everyone has a great week heading up to Thanksgiving!
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